A 21-year-old man drowned in the Beit Zayit reservoir outside Jerusalem on Wednesday. His body was found after a search that lasted for several hours.

The man, together with three friends, entered the water near the reservoir dam to swim, Ynet reported. At one point the group noticed that one of their company was missing and had not come out of the water. They quickly alerted emergency services who spent several hours looking for the man. Divers eventually retrieved his body from the water.

Magen David Adom ambulance crews declared the man dead at the scene.

The reservoir fills during the winter and is held back by a dam built across a shallow valley below the hillside village.

The large pool of water is notorious for a layer of mud that lines the bottom and can trap bathers. However, despite signs prohibiting swimming, the site is a popular attraction for bathers during the winter months, before the water eventually drains away.